For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12
I’ve been beating around this bush, but it’s time to jump on in. HOW is art helpful as prayerful meditation. What does it look and feel like?
First, meditation. I started using the Headspace meditation app in early 2018 for my anxiety. It was helpful, but I ended up cancelling because I couldn’t justify the monthly subscription cost. I’ve always heard my fellow Christians say we should meditate upon the Scripture, but I’ll be honest that 1) I wasn’t sure what that meant and 2) I was having a hard time remaining focused.
I mentioned in my previous posts that art is somehow focused but mindless. It’s a state of intense intuition at work. I see the painting but I don’t. I make decisions on what I should paint next, but it’s not a particularly conscious decision. It’s a bit like “just knowing” what should be done next. Like a “gut feeling” you may have experienced before. It’s in this heightened state of intuition that I feel I can easily talk to, listen to, experience God’s guidance and wisdom.
I suppose it’s a fairly mystical take on experiencing God. It definitely feels more intimate, effective, and experiential than my usual prayer. It’s also prolonged as it can take an hour or more to finish a project.
This state of intuition is the reason I decided to paint through the days of Advent. I want to listen closely. I want to experience God completely. I want to spend that time in meditation and joyful expectation.